Monday, August 2, 2010

Targeting Niche Markets

When we think about marketing our work, we usually think about selling it to the largest markets possible. But if we’re discounting smaller, more specific outlets, we’re probably missing out on a large number of sales. Depending on the subject of your book and its primary target audience, you may be able to find anywhere from a handful of niche markets to dozens. And just where do you find these niches?

Here are a few examples:

  • Local businesses. Local loves local. People in your area (particularly if you’re from a smaller town) will be more likely to have an interest in your work just because you’re from the same place they are. Think beyond bookstores and ask around at grocery stores, coffee shops, and even hospital gift shops to see if they’re willing to carry your books. In more cases than not, they probably will be.

  • Related clubs and organizations. If you wrote a mystery about a chef who was murdered, shop your book to the thousands of people who enjoy whipping up masterpieces in the kitchen. My medieval novel Behold the Dawn finds readers among the members of the many Renaissance and medieval reenactment groups. Google your subject with the words “associations,” “clubs,” and “groups” on the end.

  • Special interest magazines. Magazines that target niches can be a prime source for advertising. If your marketing budget won’t support an ad campaign, consider pitching articles in which you can mention your book, if not in the article body, then at least in the byline.

  • Educational outlets. Is your book appropriate for children? Even if you didn’t intend your story for a young audience, you may be able to market it to schools or homeschool groups if it has an educational slant. Both of my historical novels are popular with homeschoolers. You may want to offer further material on your website, including curriculum questions for teachers who want to use your book in class.

  • Book clubs. Target generic book clubs, but don’t forget about those that are more specific to your subject. Did you write a YA book for girls? You might be able to get your book featured on the Mother Daughter Book Club. Don’t forget to add extra incentives for book clubs by offering discussion questions, the option of a group chat on Skype, and maybe even a discount on your books.

Targeting niche markets can be time intensive, but it’s a rewarding process that can often create an army of devoted book fans.
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  1. Thank you for the great ideas. :-)

  2. Great ideas. Do have to say I was a little stunned by the gigantic knife. Is that a Band-Aid under it? I'd need one if I used a knife like that.

    P.S. Glad there's no blood on it.

  3. @Lorna: Thanks for reading!

    @Sarah: You're welcome. Hope you find them helpful!

    @Sandra: Yes, it is a scary knife, isn't it? If it belonged to me, it would undoubtedly have a few drops of blood on it!

  4. I'd planned to market Give the Lady a Ride at some of the area rodeos--just set up a table in the parking lot(with the arena's permission)and sell to all those ladies who like to watch bull riding. Should be fun.

    Good post, Katie!

  5. Great suggestions there for marketing. We often forget the smaller markets but they are just as important.
    W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

  6. @Lynnette: Thanks!

    @Linda: Great idea. Lucky you, you've got a super built-in market all ready to go!

    @Lynda: The best thing about smaller markets is that, by the very fact that they require a tighter focus, they're often easier to sell to.